ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Home bakers and cooking entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Illinois may be wondering: is it legal to sell food I make at home?
Prior to 2022, Illinois Cottage Food Law limited the sale of food made in the home to farmers’ markets. But starting in January 2022, with the passage of the Home-To-Market Act, the Cottage Food Law was updated to allow anyone to produce food in their own kitchen and sell it.
The Home-To-Market Act allows for house sales, internet sales, pickup, and delivery services for foods like bread, candies, condiments, dry goods, pastries, preserves, and snacks.
However, the law prohibits foods that can become harmful if not cooked properly, such as meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, and dairy-based ingredients.
Food producers can make goods that are low-risk and do not require refrigeration or temperature control in order to be safe for consumption.
According to Castiron, allowable foods in Illinois include:
- Fruit butters such as apple, apricot, grape, peach, plum, quince, prune
- High-acidic fruit pies
- High-acidic canned goods
- Baked goods
- Buttercream icing
- Jams and jellies that are highly acidic such as apple, apricot, grape, peach, plum, quince, orange, nectarine, tangerine, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, strawberry, red currants,
- Dry herbs
- Dry spice blends
- Dry tea blends
- Dry pastas or noodles
- Candies such as hard candy or caramel
The products must be made in a primary residence, and cannot be sold to other states.
Most Illinois counties require a home kitchen license, which requires a certification course, and producers must register at the local health department on an annual basis.
The products must also be labeled to include: the name and address of the cottage food operation, the common name of the product, a list of all ingredients, and a note that says the products were created in a kitchen that is not subject to public health inspection.
At one point, the Cottage Food Law put a cap on the amount a resident could make, at $1,000 a year, but the updated 2022 law removed the sales cap.